• Laura E.P. Sheehan

Mystery Solved: It was the Egg.

This past summer, my girls and I got a lot of quality time in the car together. We were driving from family member to family member making the annual round of visits. It is the one time of year that we are home, so we have to see EVERYONE. Though I can't remember where we were, exactly, in our journey, my younger daughter suddenly asked, 'Mom - which came first - the chicken or the egg?'


Oh, that age-old question...one that I had certainly never been able to confidently answer for myself - despite being a Philosophy major in college. Hahah!


In a blatant attempt to disguise my lack of clear thought on the issue, I immediately mom'd on her by turning the question around, 'Well, which do you think it is?'


Temporary silence as both girls considered the query before them. Then, suddenly, and to my great surprise, my youngest confidently said, 'the egg.'


Whereas I had waffled on the answer for decades on how to answer this question, my nine-year-old was certain she had solved the riddle. 'The egg!' I confirmed. 'Great, but why?'


Her response - 'Evolution! The genetic variance happened inside the egg...so the egg had to come first.'


After I recovered from the shock of my youngest child was using terms like 'evolution' and 'genetic variance,' I recognized that her answer had sound logic. The egg! Yes - mystery solved! How had no one thought of this before?


My thoughts quickly shifted. The admirable philosophical musings of my 9-year old aside...evolution - wow, had it been a long time since I had contemplated the fundamentals of that incredible scientific concept. I mean, it is not a topic that comes up in regular dinner time conversation...at least not in our house. But after that short (but powerful) talk in the car, I couldn't get the theory out of my mind.


Small but significant changes that take place over time to help organisms live more efficient, effective lives. This, in layman's terms, is evolution.


Applied to the layperson's life, it is how we became who we are today. I am most certainly not the same person I was as a child, teen, or young adult. I'm not the same person I was even a year ago. Over the course of more than 40 years, I have held on to what works for me and let go of the things that don't. I have honed skills that move me forward and let lapse those that had limited utility. I am a stronger, more capable person now than ever I have been. I have evolved...and I continue to do so!


In this context, every step I have taken has been a necessary step in the process of becoming who I am. Every experience has had intrinsic value in making me...me.


When looking at life through this lens, doesn't every moment you've lived feel so much more powerful and purposeful? What experiences or situations have you been angry about or resenting? How might those things be helping you evolve into a stronger, better self? *





* Remember that you are now armed with the answer to the age-old question: Which came first - the chicken or the egg? That alone gives you a superpower to wield at will. Use it whenever you are given the opportunity. Heck - create the opportunity! Pose the question whenever possible - oh, what fantastic conversations will result!



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